Whether it’s your first international trip or the 100th one, waiting for an international flight can be quite tiresome and extremely boring. It is usually during this wait, that people tend to go for some shopping. By shopping we mean at the airport’s Duty Free Stores. And why not! Airport shops have some products from the most exclusive brands that are not generally available at the local markets.
Also, airports offer you Duty Free Products, which as we all know, is a great way to buy some International Brands for lesser prices. But sometimes Duty Free Shopping can be a bit tricky. That is if you aren’t aware of what is it all about…. Yeah, I mean What is Duty Free Shopping? We all know about it, but how do ‘Really’ know about it?
What is Duty Free Shopping?
So first, the basic question “What is Duty Free Shopping?”
Duty Free Shopping is something wherein you can purchase products without being charged of the government levied duties or taxes. These will be charged to you otherwise, on imported products bought at regular stores.
You’ll find such Duty Free Shops typically at airports, cruise ships and port cities.
Technically, to be exempt from duties on your shopping you must be going outside of the country. Although, if the products you purchased at a Duty Free Store, are within the permissible customs limits (varies from country to country), you can buy them even on arrival in your home country as well.
But there is still a condition that you need to have traveled out of your country for at least 48 hours. And to ensure this condition is met, the personnel at the billing counter of a Duty Free store might ask you to produce your passport and boarding pass.
However, Duty free does not necessarily mean tax free. If a country levies Value Added Tax, it will still be applicable in this case as well. So if you are shopping Duty Free, VAT may not be exempt.
Duty Free products – Things you need to know about them:
So, we hope by now you are clear on the “What is Duty Free” part of it? So now let’s talk about the products. It simply means – products you buy free of the above mentioned duties are Duty Free Products.
But wait, that is not the end of it all! How about some little Duty Free secrets and tips to help in your next duty free outing?
Duty Free Shopping Tricks and Secrets Revealed:
Here are some facts and some secrets you must know about Duty Free Products and Duty Free Shopping:
- According to Frommers.com; beauty and fragrances contribute about 30% of the entire Duty Free Sales – So if you thought alcohol sold a lot, think again!
- It is believed that U.S Duty Free Stores, sometimes offer some really killer pricing and offers. Although this can be matched if you are someone who is good at comparing Duty Free Prices (more on this in a bit).
- Not all Products found at a Duty Free Store are cheap or available at lower Duty Free prices. Exotic brands like Dior, Hermes, Chanel believe in maintaining the same retail prices for their products across all their stores – So if you want to shop for them at lower prices, we suggest you wait for a Sale at any local store, or look for them online 🙂
- Now the most important one – Most of the shoppers do not know that there are ways to actually find out the lowest duty free price of a product. You can compare prices at various airports and know the best prices on offer for that same product – DutyFree.buzz is a site that does that for you.
- All you have to do is enter your Departure, Stopover (if any) and Arrival airports and search for the product you wish to buy.
- It will show you the duty free prices at those airports and also highlight where the price is the lowest.
- At times you will be surprised to know that your home country’s duty free store may have the lowest prices, when you always thought buying abroad would be advisable!
- This simple little Duty Free Shopping hack has helped thousands of travellers save a lot on Duty Free shopping. It is because, they know exactly which airport from their travel itinerary, they should buy their products.
So there you have it, some Duty Free Shopping secrets revealed!!!
Hope these tips would help you shop your way through any Duty Free store at an International airport.